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Re: making software with Emacs and Elisp


From: Marcin Borkowski
Subject: Re: making software with Emacs and Elisp
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2013 01:29:10 +0200

Dnia 2013-10-23, o godz. 01:00:21
Emanuel Berg <address@hidden> napisaƂ(a):

> Marcin Borkowski <address@hidden> writes:
> 
> > I understand that you want to develop your application
> > in "EmacsOS"
> 
> You are actually the *third* person who brought up the
> "OS" aspect with me. I never thought of Emacs that way.

I had to - most of my friend use Vim, and Emacs being an OS is a
recurring joke of them (see below).

> Well, it isn't like the Linux kernel because it is
> interactive, and it doesn't access and allocate hardware
> to a pool of processes. For example, if you run a shell
> command from Emacs, that is continuous/background in
> character, isn't that run next to Emacs, with the kernel
> doing the multitasking, rather than on top of Emacs, and
> Emacs doing the scheduling etc.?
> 
> But you may also include other stuff in a definition of
> "OS", like the libraries, the tools, the interface... In
> that sense I agree Emacs is very much an OS, perhaps
> even the best there is!

Yes.  More of a window manager, or desktop environment than OS.  (But
remember the old joke: "Emacs is actually a nice OS, it only lacks a
decent ASCII editor."  NB.: each time I'm told this joke, I reply with
this one: "Why are Vim users so egocentric?  Because they begin each
sentence with `I'.")
 
> But (in the kernel "OS" interpretation), that's overkill
> for my purposes, I don't need to spawn processes/threads
> and all that, I just need to be able to execute my Elisp
> software elsewhere, the same way it is executed on my
> machine.

True.

> Doesn't for example Python code work everywhere, as long
> as you have a Python interpreter? (I never did Python.)
> Something like that would be enough, and I suppose the
> Elisp interpreter is... Emacs.

Yes, but in Emacs you get the UI for free, with all the nice
editing stuff.  (Probably Python with GTK or Qt or whatever is a rough
equivalent - well, minus the nice editing stuff, of course.)

> > One thing that comes to mind is Clojure (with which I
> > have zero experience), but it gives you the benefits
> > of Lisp, of portability (at least as much as Java
> > does) and of libraries (read JVM).
> 
> Yeah, I'm not doing Java, and as for Clojure, I don't
> feel like learning anything brand new at the moment. You
> could easily do that you entire life (learn new
> things). Right now, I'm more into doing something with
> what I know right now.

Understood.

> There are so many Lisp dialects. I what way is Clojure
> more portable?

It compiles to Java bytecode.  And you have access to Java libraries.
(But again, maybe one should beware of Java.  As another joke says:
Someone had a problem, and decided to use Java.  Now he has a
ProblemFactory.)

Best,

-- 
Marcin Borkowski
http://octd.wmi.amu.edu.pl/en/Marcin_Borkowski
Adam Mickiewicz University



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